No Time To Waste
There's no time to waste
EU wastes 153m tonnes of food a year – much more than it imports. We want the EU Food Waste Reduction Target to legally require a 50% reduction by 2030.
What's the problem?
Reducing food loss and waste is one of the most important actions we can take to fight the climate crisis. Food waste has untenable environmental, economic, and social costs. Globally, it accounts for 8–10% of all human generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs the world more than USD 1 trillion in economic losses per year. The scale of global food waste is so vast that one often turns to analogies to describe it: that if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest GHG emitter; that the amount of land used worldwide to grow wasted food is larger than the surface area of India and Canada combined; that the annual global blue water footprint of food waste is about 3.6 times the blue water footprint of total US consumption.
In 2021, the EU imported almost 138 million tonnes of agricultural products from outside of its borders, worth a total of €150 billion. These imports are eclipsed by the amount of food — 153.5 million tonnes — that is wasted in the
EU each year. Meanwhile, a global food crisis is unfurling. Already across the block, 33 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day. Food insecurity in the EU disproportionately impacts women and people with other
historically marginalised identities. Since reducing food waste can play a role in reducing food insecurity, this means that, in addition to being a driver of climate change, food waste is a key human rights and social security issue.
What's the solution?
The EU is now in the process of making key decisions about the target, including its ambition (with options ranging from 20% to 50% by 2030) and its scope (retail and consumer level only, or from farm to fork). In our report, we demonstrate why it is vital for the EU to adopt a legally binding target of a 50% reduction in food waste from farm to fork by 2030.
Latest updates in this campaign
A scandalous 140.6 million tonnes* of food is wasted in the EU…
What can you do to make a difference?
The EU must halve its food waste by 2030 to tackle climate crisis and improve food security, but right now the EU is wasting more food than it imports.Read